Tag Archives: Shaq Lawson

2016 AFC East Draft Grades

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New England Patriots

Grade: C

First Round Pick: None

Best Pick: Round Six-Elandon Roberts-Inside Linebacker-Houston

The New England Patriots entered the 2016 National Football League with a deck that was stacked against them. The Patriots lost their first-round selection after Deflategate which changed their draft strategy. 59 picks went by before the Patriots got started and they would use their first selection on Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Cyrus Jones. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick loves versatile players, and what Jones provides New England with is an athlete that can return kicks while also being able to contribute defensively in nickel packages.

Surprisingly in the third round, the Pats would select North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had an up and down collegiate career which saw spend his first two years of eligibility with the Florida Gators before transferring to N.C. State. At 6’4″, 231 lbs., Brissett has great size to be a quarterback in the National Football League, but he is a project at best while he more than likely he would have been available much later in the draft for the Pats.

Elandon Roberts

But in the sixth round, Belichick found his kind of player when he pegged Houston Cougars middle linebacker Elandon Roberts. In 2015, Roberts was a member of the American Athletic Conference’s All-Defensive first team as he tallied 142 tackles. Roberts is a very smart football player and Belichick will definitely find a roster spot for him.

 

New York Jets

Grade: C-

First Round Pick: Darron Lee-Outside Linebacker-Ohio State

Best Pick: Round Two-Christian Hackenburg-Quarterback-Penn State

After being on the cusp making the National Football League Playoffs in 2015, the New York Jets don’t want to take a step back this year. The Jets entered the National Football League Draft last month appearing to be at an impasse as they and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are still far apart on contract negotiations. In the first round of the draft, the Jets had the opportunity to select Memphis Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch which would have signaled the end of Fitzpatrick’s time with the team. Instead the Jets opted for Ohio State Buckeyes outside linebacker Darron Lee. At 6’1″, 238 lbs., Lee is undersized to be an outside linebacker in the Jets 3-4 defensive scheme which makes you wonder if a move to safety for him could be in the works.

Christian Hackenburg

The second round did see the Jets dip into the quarterback pool when they tabbed Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenburg. A few months ago Hackenburg appeared to be a top-five pick until his 2015 college football season unraveled for him. Hackenburg didn’t have the best season at Penn State due to a coaching change along with the fact that the Nittany Lions didn’t have a talented team around him due to NCAA sanctions. But coming out of high school, Hackenburg was a highly touted prospect who could flourish in a pro-style offense. At 6’4″, 228 lbs., Hackenburg has the size and arm strength to flourish in the National Football League; now it’s just a matter of him getting familiar with the Jets playbook. In Florham Park, Hackenburg will be under the tutelage of Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey who has a history of developing quarterbacks in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills

Grade: A

First Round Pick: Shaq Lawson-Defensive End-Outside Linebacker-Clemson

Best Pick: Round Two-Reggie Ragland-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

After the Buffalo Bills finished the 2015 National Football League season ranked 19th in total defense while only amassing 21 team sacks, you knew that Rex Ryan wanted to remedy that as defensive football is his specialty. At the 2016 NFL Draft, the Bills began by owning the 19th overall pick of the draft. And in typical Ryan fashion, he took a chance on a defensive player that was slipping in the draft.

Shaq Lawson

In the first round the Bills would select Clemson Tigers defensive end Shaq Lawson. Last year Lawson was on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first-team All-Defense after totaling 12.5 sacks. Lawson gutted out the season with a shoulder injury which will eventually require surgery, but the Bills are hopeful that he’ll have enough to give them a solid impact this year.

In the second round the Bills got themselves a value pick in Alabama Crimson Tide middle linebacker Reggie Ragland. Ragland was talented enough to be a first-round pick, but he fell to the second round where the Bills decided to make a deal with the Chicago Bears in order to secure the 41st overall selection which they used on him. At 6’1″, 247 lbs., Ragland is a football player’s football player. And on top of that, Ragland is a leader which is exactly what the Bills need on defense.

The Bills continued to stockpile talent as they selected Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Adolphus Washington in the third round, while they picked his college teammate in quarterback Cardale Jones in the fourth round.

Cardale Jones

Jones is an anomaly as he had the potential to have been a first-round pick last year had he decided to leave school early even though he only made three starts in college. But when Jones decided to return to school, he found that his draft stock dropped. Jones is 6’5″, 253 lbs., and he is extremely athletic, but the best way to describe him is that he still “raw”. However if there is a coach that can motivate Jones to practice each day with a chip on his shoulder, it is Ryan.

In the fifth round, the Bills selected Arkansas Razorbacks running back Jonathan Williams in what I deem as a low risk, high reward move. In 2014, Williams led the Razorbacks in rushing with 1,190 yards, but a foot injury put him on the shelf for the entire 2015 college football season. However after carrying the football 211 times in 2014, Williams should be fresh which will be a welcome sight as he could take some carries away from Bills running back LeSean McCoy who is recovering from a knee injury.

Miami Dolphins

Grade: C-

First Round Pick: Laremy Tunsil-Offensive Tackle-Ole Miss

Best Pick: Round Three-Kenyon Drake-Running Back-Alabama

Since 2004, the Miami Dolphins have only have had one winning season, and a big reason for that is their struggles in the National Football League Draft. The Dolphins have consistently failed to find impact players early on the NFL Draft which is also a solid implication as to why they only have one postseason appearance over that stretch, and they’re still searching for their first playoff victory since 1999.

Laremy Tunsil

Originally, the Dolphins entered the 2016 National Football League Draft in possession of the eighth overall selection. But prior to the draft, the Dolphins would engage in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that would see Miami receive the 13th overall selection. The Dolphins did receive offers for the choice, but instead they opted to select Mississippi Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Dark clouds hung over Tunsil’s head at the draft after a questionable photo of him surfaced on Twitter on April 28th. And as some people had Tunsil pegged as the best prospect entering the draft, he found himself falling. There’s no question that Tunsil has the talent to become an impact player for the Dolphins; it’s just a matter of whether or not that his head will be screwed on properly. And unfortunately, I don’t see any leadership within the Dolphins locker room that is going to hold Tunsil accountable.

Aside from selecting Tunsil, the rest of the Dolphins time at the 2016 National Football League Draft was sketchy at best as they didn’t find enough impact players that are going to help them end their playoff drought in 2016, or build a solid core of players for the future.

Sources: Pro-football-reference, Cfbstats.com

 

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2016 NFL Draft 2.0

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Carson Wentz

1. Los Angeles Rams-Carson Wentz-Quarterback-North Dakota State

The future of Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is riding on this pick.

2. Cleveland Browns-Jared Goff-Quarterback-California

Although that the Cleveland Browns signed quarterback Robert Griffin III, it won’t prevent them from drafting another quarterback.

3. San Diego Chargers-Laremy Tunsil-Offensive Tackle-Ole Miss

Heading into the 2016 National Football League Draft, Laremy Tunsil is looked at as the best prospect available for most people, and the San Diego Chargers will get themselves a player that can anchor their offensive line for years to come.

4. Dallas Cowboys-Joey Bosa-Defensive End-Ohio State

If the Browns pass on Jared Goff, I expect the Dallas Cowboys to select him. But if Goff is gone, expect the Cowboys to beef up their pass rush.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars-Jalen Ramsey-Free Safety-Florida State

For years the Jacksonville Jaguars have been lacking a play maker in their secondary, and they will get one here in Jalen Ramsey.

6. Baltimore Ravens-Ronnie Stanley-Offensive Tackle-Notre Dame

The Baltimore Ravens might be tempted to trade up for Joey Bosa, but they must also protect the blindside of quarterback Joe Flacco who is coming off of knee surgery.

Myles Jack

7. San Francisco 49ers-Myles Jack-Outside Linebacker-UCLA

It wouldn’t be San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly if he didn’t think outside of the box as he would be taking a player here with red flags due to medical issues.

8. Philadelphia Eagles-Paxton Lynch-Quarterback-Memphis

The Philadelphia Eagles could go with running back Ezekiel Elliot here, but new head coach Doug Pederson needs a young quarterback to develop.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Jack Conklin-Offensive Tackle-Michigan State

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are entrusting quarterback Jameis Winston to be their franchise player, and thus they must do everything in their power to put a solid team around him.

Shaq Lawson

10. New York Giants-Shaq Lawson-Defensive End-Clemson

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese has been busy this off-season in solidifying his defense, and he’ll find himself another quality edge rusher here in Shaq Lawson.

11. Chicago Bears-Taylor Decker-Offensive Tackle-Ohio State

The Chicago Bears are committed to quarterback Jay Cutler who loves to throw the deep ball which means that he needs a solid offensive line in front of him.

12. New Orleans Saints-Vernon Hargreaves III-Cornerback-Florida

The New Orleans Saints could go in several directions with this pick, but they need help in the secondary which was torched last season.

13. Miami Dolphins-Darron Lee-Outside Linebacker-Ohio State

Here the Miami Dolphins will get a player that could be an impact player from his first day with the team.

14. Oakland Raiders-Reggie Ragland-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

In drafting Reggie Ragland, the Oakland Raiders could possess one of the best linebacking cores in the National Football League this season.

Leonard Floyd

15. Tennessee Titans-Leonard Floyd-Outside Linebacker-Georgia

The Tennessee Titans have switched the 3-4 defensive scheme, and they are still searching for a dominant edge rusher.

16. Detroit Lions-Laquon Treadwell-Wide Reciever-Ole Miss

The Detroit Lions needs help on their offensive line, but with the retirement of wide receiver Calvin Johnson, they also need a play maker that can stretch the field.

17. Atlanta Falcons-A’Shawn Robinson-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

The Atlanta Falcons continue to beef up the defensive line here.

18. Indianapolis Colts-Ezekiel Elliot-Running Back-Ohio State

If Ezekiel Elliot falls this far, the Indianapolis Colts would have their best running back since Edgerrin James.

19. Buffalo Bills-Noah Spence-Defensive End-Eastern Kentucky

This pick has Rex Ryan written all over it as Noah Spence is his kind of football player.

20. New York Jets-Eli Apple-Cornerback-Ohio State

The New York Jets could be tempted to take a quarterback here, but they also need help in their secondary.

Mackensie Alexander

21. Washington Redskins-Mackensie Alexander-Cornerback-Clemson

The Washington Redskins could be tempted to select a wide receiver here, but the talent of Mackensie Alexander is too good to pass up on.

22. Houston Texans-DeForest Buckner-Defensive End-Oregon

The defensive line of the Houston Texans is not a weakness, but DeForest Buckner will eat up double teams which will help players such as defensive end J.J. Watt.

23. Minnesota Vikings-Will Fuller-Wide Receiver-Notre Dame

Speed kills in the National Football League, and the speed of wide receiver Will Fuller will test the arm strength of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

24. Cincinnati Bengals-Jason Spriggs-Offensive Tackle-Indiana

In a division that features the quality defenses of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals must upgrade their offensive line.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers-William Jackson III-Cornerback-Houston

After recently releasing cornerback Cortez Allen, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to get their hands on another cornerback.

26. Seattle Seahawks-Sheldon Rankins-Defensive Tackle-Clemson

The off-season hasn’t been good to the Seattle Seahawks who have lost quality players in the trenches on both sides of the football. And for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, it’s time for him to start restocking some athletes.

Jarran Reed

27. Green Bay Packers-Jarran Reed-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

With the sudden retirement of nose tackle B.J. Raji, this is a no-brainer pick here for the Green Bay Packers.

28. Kansas City Chiefs-Corey Coleman-Wide Receiver-Baylor

It was rather obvious that the Kansas City Chiefs lacked speed at the wide receiver position last year, and the addition of Corey Coleman would be a huge upgrade for them.

29. Arizona Cardinals-Vernon Butler-Defensive Tackle-Louisiana Tech

The NFC West might be the most physical division in the National Football League, and the Arizona Cardinals need to keep up by adding another “big ugly”.

30. Carolina Panthers-Germain Ifedi-Offensive Tackle-Texas A&M

The Carolina Panthers could decide to draft another wide receiver here, but they also need to protect quarterback Cam Newton.

Connor Cook

31. Denver Broncos-Connor Cook-Quarterback-Michigan State

The Denver Broncos could be tempted to move up and select a quarterback, or they could wait patiently and select a signal caller without having to part with draft picks.

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